Bovis Homes (BVS) rises 3.4% to 805p after lifting half-year pre-tax profit by 19% to £18.6 million and raising the dividend by a third. Average sales prices increased by 15% to £188,500, ahead of the group's expectations.
Oil services group Kentz (KENZ) is now in play after receiving two separate takeover approaches, sending its shares up 25% to 595p. Both Amec (AMEC) and M&W have expressed interest. Amec's is the higher potential offer, pegged at between 565p and 580p per share. Kentz has rejected both approaches as we discuss in more detail here.
There was nothing much in the way of surprises in half-year figures from insurance outsourcing business Quindell Portfolio (QPP:AIM). Most of the important issues were flagged in last week's update, with its rampant cash collection a point we highlighted. The shares dip 1% to 13p with its planned move to London's main market from Aim still on track and odd small acquisitions hinted at down the line. Shares has been a fan of the growth potential of Quindell for over a year, first flagging the shares at 5.63p in June 2012 (see page 8 of PDF), and again just days after Christmas as one of our plays for 2013.
Property and casualty insurer Amlin (AML) nudges ahead 0.2% to 392.1p as half-year results are published. The dividend is up 4% to 7.8p per share despite a 13% drop in pre-tax profits to £161.4 million. Amlin racked up £32.2 million of catastrophe losses thanks to flooding in Europe, compared to zero in the first half of 2012. The fall in its pre-tax profits could have been worse had it not been for foreign exchange gains.
Gold producer Minera IRL (MIRL:AIM) has secured the $80 million it needs to build the Don Nicolas project in Argentina. The news sends the share price up 8.1% to 15p. The asset is targeted to produce more than 50,000 ounces of gold per year from late 2014.
Inspired Energy (INSE:AIM), one of Shares' top small cap picks and a running Play of the Week, advances 6.9% to 7.75p on half-year results. It has made nearly the same amount of pre-tax profit in the first six months of 2013 as it did in the whole of 2012. Cashflow from operations has more than trebled year-on-year to £1.9 million and the energy procurement specialist has declared a maiden interim dividend.
A push on the airport security market is progressing well, says small cap surveillance-to-detection expert Westminster (WSG:AIM). It rises 5% to 52p after revealing talks with airports in Africa, Asia and South America. The stock has more than doubled since Shares highlighted the potential for Westminster in the airport market, where we said to buy at 20.75p on 23 February 2012.
A robust set of interims sees Irish insulation maker Kingspan (KGP) advance 3.4% to 11.3p. Revenues are up 13% to €858.4 million while group trading margins slip 50 basis points to 6.5%. Profit before tax rise 6% to €39.2 million and COE Gene Murtagh says investors can expect the group to 'deliver an improved year-on-year result in the second half of 2013.'
US onshore oil company Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP:AIM) ticks up 1.2% to 2.38p after raising stakes in three wells in Oklahoma to 'rapidly build production'. We last took a look at the company back in January.
AIM-quoted energy minnows Aminex (AEX:AIM) and Solo Oil (SOLO:AIM) areup 10% to 2.2p and 1.6% to 0.31p respectively as they confirm negotiations with Tanzanian authorities are ongoing on the sale of gas produced from the Ntorya-1 well in the Ruvuma Basin into the 36 inch pipeline being constructed between Mtwara to Dar es Salaam. Aminex has a 75% stake in Ruvuma and Solo 25%, the pipeline in question passes approximately 12 kilometres to the east of Ntorya-1.
The chief executive of on-bus cameras technology supply microcap 21st Century Technology (C21:AIM) falls on his sword after a recent profit warning that swiped around £4 million off its market value, today it is worth £5.8 million. Wilson Jennings' departure leaves chairman Jan Holmstrom scrabbling around for a new broom for the Croydon-based company, but investors barely seem to care, the shares staying flat at 6.25p.